For better or for worse; Dean and Britta side by side like Bonnie and Clyde. He is the former front man of the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna. She is the singing voice behind animated sensation JEM & the Holograms. Guitarist/vocalist Dean Wareham and bassist/vocalist Britta Phillips are husband and wife and psych-folk duo Dean & Britta.
Ladies first. Before there was Dean & Britta there was Britta and JEM. The vocalist lent her voice to the “truly outrageous” animated TV series in 1985.
“Yes! She was the singing voice of Jem! But I was too old to have watched it sadly,” Wareham laughed. “We meet some fans who are like ‘Oh my God you’re Jem!’ But it doesn’t seem to have that affect on me. I was just too old at that time.”
Phillips is a beautiful well-rounded artist who’s acting career then debuted along side a stellar cast, Julia Roberts, Justine Bateman, Liam Neeson and Deborah Harry in the 80s flick Satisfaction (also known as Girls of Summer). Britta played in the bands Belltower, Ultrababyfat and Ben Lee before joining Dean Wareham in Luna.
One year earlier Wareham formed the band Galaxie 500 in 1987 creating a loyal following but eventually left to create the band Luna in 1991 where Dean and Britta were first acquainted. After thirteen years of monogamy and devotion to Luna, Wareham began a side project, L’Avventura making an accomplice out of Luna bassist Brita.
“I was just going to do a solo album of covers, and then Britta started helping me with it. She had a couple songs she had written and I had a couple songs that I had written,” Wareham explained. “It wasn’t planned, yet it turned out great.”
Dean and Britta’s musical collaboration didn’t end with L’Avventura and survived Luna’s breakup two years back.”L’Avventura felt so great that when Luna was over I knew that this was the next thing I wanted to do,” the guitarist said. “I’m not the kind of person who can or wants to do it all myself. Britta has all kinds of musical skills that I don’t have.”
Together, Wareham and Philips bring their second full-length album as a duo Back Numbers to life. “We just work well together. I’ve always needed someone like that,” said Wareham.
Dean & Britta play The Main Hall, 5390 St. Laurent, Saturday March 10, 8 p.m.